Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Miami Hurricanes seize on Gators turnovers in 21-16 victory

MIAMI — In their final regular-season meeting for the foreseeable future, Miami gave its fans a pleasant lasting memory and made sure Florida won't forget it any time soon.

Capitalizing on a mistake-filled offensive performance from the Gators, the Hurricanes made the case they are truly back on the rise with their biggest win since beating No. 8 Oklahoma in 2009.

In front of a school-record crowd of 79,968 at Sun Life Stadium, Miami did just enough for a 21-16 upset of No. 12 Florida on Saturday.

"It's a good win," said third-year coach Al Golden, whose program still awaits the NCAA's punishment for an improper benefits scandal that broke during the summer of 2011. "It was almost cathartic. It was 26 months just unleashed there in the last four or five seconds.

"I'm proud of these guys. We couldn't handle this setting a year ago. I'm real proud of the way the guys fought. There was nothing easy on that field for either team. It was a good, hard-nosed football game."

There certainly was nothing easy for the Gators (1-1).

If you saw the game only on paper, you'd be hard-pressed to figure out how Florida actually lost. It outgained Miami 412-212 (122-50 rushing), ran 77 plays to Miami's 53 and had the ball for 38:20 of the game's 60 minutes.

"We moved the ball all over the field, had over 400 yards," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "I thought we mixed the run and pass well. I thought we did some good things at times. The bottom line is that you cannot continue to shoot yourself in the foot and give someone else the opportunity, especially on the road. And we certainly did that."

In the red zone, the Gators had one fumble at the 13, Jeff Driskel interceptions at the 22 and 17 and a failure on fourth and 1 at the 16.

"When we got in the red zone, turnovers and penalties really killed us," said Driskel who was 22-of-33 for 291 yards, a touchdown and the two interceptions and ran for a touchdown. "We really stress that in the offseason, and it killed us."

"Red zone is everything," Florida senior center Jon Harrison said. "Red zone offense, red zone defense, it's everything in a game.

"And we just couldn't capitalize in the red zone."

The first half couldn't have gone much worse for the Gators, whose opening drive was foiled by two penalties and a fumble by sophomore running back Matt Jones. Yet Florida trailed just 14-6 at halftime and despite the mistakes had its chances until the very end.

With 9:29 remaining in the game and trailing 14-9, freshman defensive back Vernon Hargreaves intercepted Stephen Morris and returned it 24 yards to the Miami 47.

But on third and 3 from the 17, Driskel was intercepted by Tracy Howard.

"It was a dumb play," Driskel said. "I should have just taken what the defense gave me, and instead, I tried to make a bigger play."

For Morris, 12-of-25 for 162 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, the win was validation for all of the Hurricanes, who at 2-0 could return to the Top 25 for the first time since 2010.

"It's a team effort," Morris said. "The defense kept giving us energy and giving us the ball back. Special teams was making big plays for us. It was only a matter of time. "It was a team effort and a great win."

Antonya English can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @TBTimes_Gators.

Miami Hurricanes seize on Gators turnovers in 21-16 victory 09/07/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 7, 2013 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.